United in Sport
By Greta Neimanas | Sep 6, 2008
Race name: 2008 Paralympics
Race date: Saturday, Sep 6, 2008
It's hard to put into words what the Opening Ceremonies are like. It was like nothing I'd ever seen or done before. The whole US Delegation met outside our apartment building, decked out in our Ralph Lauren suits, and... we looked good. It was kind of like prom with everyone dressed up taking photos on the lawn in front of our house. Everyone was given a marching credential to get on the field, and instructions on how to march in, and not make a fool of ourselves, or our country. No pressure, just don't mess up and disgrace your country. We were all herded like sheep onto buses to take up the 2k over to the Bird's Nest. (I think it looks like a toilet seat, but that's just me) There was a holding area for all the countries and we were able to catch some of the show on one of the 5 story tv's on the 7 star hotel down the street. It looked good.
Finally it was time to start moving in towards the stadium. I don't know if it's tradition or we just move really slow, but the cycling team was at the back of the pack, the very last ones to walk in. Just saving the best for last is all. It was so inspiring to look forward and see only white caps of the US team in front of you cheering USA USA USA as we walked as one into the stadium. To walk in, and see 90,000 people looking at you, here to watch you compete because you're one of the best athletes in the world is incredibly moving. Seeing all the athletes marching in, representing everyone in their home countries is awesome. It didn't matter what our type of government we had, or who thought what about whoever. We were all united in sport, and for the next two weeks nothing else mattered.